What is a goal of yours?
Clearly define it.
That goal has a deep emotional driver attached to it.
Let’s call it your “why.”
Knowing your “why” will make everything you’re working towards more productive and more fulfilling.
How to find your “why.”
Fill in the following.
“My goal is _“
“Why? Because _“
“Why? Because _“
“Why? Because _“
You get the idea. With each subsequent asking of the question “Why?”, you dig deeper into the real driving force behind your goal.
What this means for you.
Let’s break it down.
We’ve established your goal.
We’ve determined a deep “why” behind that goal.
If the original goal is simply a means to achieving the deeper “why,” then naturally, achieving the surface level goal isn’t as important as achieving your “why.”
Let’s use a weight loss example for clarity.
Example A: Steve
Steve lacks self-esteem and decides to lose 25 pounds in 6 months.
Steve believes that he will feel confident when, and only when, the scale drops 25 pounds.
He’s fixated on that number.
For 6 months, Steve works hard.
He cooks most of his meals (new skill for him), goes to the gym 3-4 days a week (used to be 1-2) and puts in a ton of effort.
Steve is so caught up in the number on the scale that he can barely enjoy a single moment.
At the end of 6 months, Steve drops 15 pounds.
Despite learning new skills and building great habits, Steve feels like a failure as he is 10 pounds shy of his goal, resulting in even lower confidence than when he began.
Example B: Sally
Sally lacks self-esteem and decides to lose 25 pounds in 6 months.
Sally does the “why” exercise above and determines her deep emotional driver. Her “why” is that she wants to embody confidence. She wants to feel in control of her health, her decisions and her effort. She wants to be a person that can create change.
For 6 months, Sally works hard.
She cooks most of her meals (new skill for her), goes to the gym 3-4 days a week (used to be 1-2) and puts in a ton of effort.
Despite the scale moving slowly, Sally has a blast throughout the process as she is building confidence through hard work and positive habits.
After 6 months, Sally loses 15 pounds and falls 10 pounds shy of her initial goal.
Instead of being upset, she is thrilled at the confidence gained from achieving her deep “why” and realizes that the number on the scale was simply something to work towards.
Can you relate to the examples above? Which one resonates with you the most?
It turns out that both Steve and Sally had the same initial goal, problem, and process over the 6 months.
The difference is that Steve was miserable and frustrated focusing on the scale while Sally built confidence as she appreciated every little win along the way.
What you can learn from Steve and Sally.
If you can’t enjoy and appreciate the actual process of achieving a goal, you certainly will not feel fulfilled when you reach that arbitrary checkpoint.
Working towards your goal will require a ton of hard work and discipline.
The hard work and discipline you put in will build a confidence so deep that it will likely achieve your deep “why” over the course of the entire experience.
Time and time again you will here somebody (like me) tell you that you must “enjoy the process.”
Is it cliche? Sure.
Is it incredibly important? Absolutely.
More often than not, the deep “why” behind your goal will be achieved throughout the process.
If you can’t find happiness during the process, you will have a hard time ever finding it.
Find your “why.”
Appreciate small wins.
Enjoy the process.